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With My Credit, You Kids Gotta Stick to Just Naps

August 27, 2012

Can someone please tell me when bedtime became big business?  Seriously, I don’t get it.  When I was a kid, I had a nightlight.  Not some fancy projector to shine patterns and colors on the ceiling, not a Glo Worm, not even the owl shaped ones (children of the 70’s get this reference… the rest of you aren’t missing much).  Just a bulb and a switch which would occasionally shock the shit outta you to remind you that, “this is the year 1980, bitch.  There’s no such thing as child safety.”

Now, parents need to take out a damn loan to get their kids to go to bed.  What the hell happened?!

This Happened

Fucking. Pillow. Pets.

Sing it with me now: “It’s a pillow!  It’s a pet!  It’s a Pillow Pet!”  With clever lyrics like that, it’s no wonder these fluffy fuckers caught on.  When my daughter first asked me for a Pillow Pet, I had no clue what she was talking about.  By her description, it was some sort of soft, stuffed version of a Transformer, but instead of Autobots and Decepticons, there were lady bugs, pandas, and unicorns.  I don’t even know who the bad guys are in this scenario… Pillow Poachers maybe?  (Holy shit, nobody steal that idea.  I’m TOTALLY making those.  Swarthy men in safari gear holding guns and toting about bear traps.  Precious.)  So then I saw the ad, and couldn’t believe this was a thing.  A pillow… a tiny 18″ square pillow… with a face sewn on it.  To “transform” it into a pet, there’s a velcro strap to pull the middle together, making the corners like little stubby feet.  Because all insects actually have 4 legs, not 6?  Because you just didn’t believe in unicorns hard enough for their legs to fully form?  Because all pandas have had their legs cut off at the knees (by Pillow Poachers I assume… don’t fall asleep with your face on the bear trap, little Billy)?  No.  Because this happened:

Corporate Bastard #1: Are the legs too stubby?

Corporate Bastard #2: Meh.  Yeah.  Whatever, though.

Corporate Bastard #1: Good call!  Let’s sell these things!  $20 each!

Corporate Bastard #2: Sweet!  That’s like $19.90 in profit!  We need a good jingle, though.

Corporate Bastard #1: I think I got one.  See how this grabs you…

In the end, my daughter never got her pillow pet.  She got some knock-off from Wal-Mart that cost half as much (though which probably increased the size of my slavery footprint by a child laborer or two… thanks Wal-Mart).  But, apparently I was the only parent NOT buying these things, as all of a sudden bedtime entertainment was a BOOMING business.

Sure, It’s Cute Now… But Wait Until They Develop a Muppet Fetish

Remember the creepy kid with the puppet obsession.  You know, he or she was in class talking THROUGH a puppet.  And, sure, you laughed on the outside, but inside, you were horrified. That’s because, it’s disturbing.  Well, now your kid can be the creepy puppet kid!  With Cuddleuppets!

Creepiness only costs $19.99... what a bargain

Creepiness only costs $19.99… what a bargain!

These adorable fleece blankets are also puppets!  And, of course, they have an awesome jingle as well: “They’re cuddle Cuddleuppets!  Cuddle Cuddleuppets!  Blankets that are puppets!  Blankets that are puppets!”  Because repetition is the key to an effective jingle.  All 6 puppets feature droopy eyes which make the characters all look stoned as hell.  At a whopping 28 inches wide… it makes a horrible blanket as well. So, yeah.  Enjoy that one kids.  This must have been the bedtime business equivalent of a gang tagging on another gang’s turf.  Not to be outdone, the folks behind Pillow Pets fired back.

In the words of the television pitch man: “But wait!  There’s more!”

At Least These Don’t Shock You

The makers of Pillow Pets created a blanket version of their famous pillows.  But, yeah, they weren’t puppets.  And when the Cuddleuppets launched, I imagine the folks down at Pillow Pets Inc. were PISSED.

Corporate Bastard #1:  Puppets!  Damn it!  It was so obvious!

Corporate Bastard #2:  Crap.  Well, that ship has sailed.  What else can we do with a pillow pet?

Corporate Bastard #1: Pillow Poachers?

Corporate Bastard #2: No, some blogger in Arizona has taken a theoretical patent on that idea.

Corporate Bastard #1:  But, if this conversation is a scenario which happens in the past in the same blog as the theoretical patent, then there’s a whole time paradox to what you just said.

Corporate Bastard #2: ??

Corporate Bastard #1:  Hey remember Glo-Worms?

Never before has a child’s toy looked more like a phallus

In case you don’t remember, the Glo Worm was a little green thingy which, when squeezed, the head would glow.  It ran on, like, 8 “D” cell batteries, so when a toddler whipped it at you it was almost certain to cause a concussion.

Awesome.

The idea, though, was not to improve the melee skills of small children, but rather to combat the prevalent fear of the dark which most children struggle with.  It was like a night light, but less likely to shock you than the one I had.

I can honestly say that I haven’t seen Glo Worms in stores for a long time, which means one of two things happened: someone got brained bad enough to lead to a serious law suit, or the company figured the market was saturated and gave up on the thing.  Pillow Pets, though, was undeterred, and took the complete lack of nightlight toys as an opening in the bedtime business market.  So they launched Dream Lites.  CUE THE JINGLE!

“Dream Lites.  Sleep Tight.  Something something, Dream Lites.”  Okay, so, maybe repetition IS the key to a good jingle, because I can’t actually recall the words to this one.  Anyway, they decided to stick to the stubby legs from the pillow pets (proving those were TOTALLY on purpose), and put some sort of light which projects on the ceiling for your child.  How lovely.  It has stars and the face of the animal to light up your child’s room, which is great.  What’s not great?  Going through a pack of batteries every night.

Also available: Pillow Pets brand batteries! Not really, but they totally should.

Can My Kids Go to Bed Yet?  No??

Oh, sure.  You’d think you have all your bases covered.  You handled their need for a stuffed animal and their need for a pillow with one amazing multi-tasker called a Pillow Pet.  You introduced your child to the world of creepy puppetry AND gave them several square inches of blanket with the Cuddleuppet.  You managed their crippling fear of the dark with the Dream Lite (which tastes like a regular dream, but with fewer calories).  But they STILL won’t go to bed without crazy ass animated slippers to set beside their bed to wear in the morning.  LUCKY YOU!  Someone made that shit!  Actually, more than one company tackled America’s previously unfulfilled desire for slippers with parts that move when you walk.

Introducing STOMPEEZ!

Admittedly… I wish these came in my size

Do they have a catchy jingle, you ask?  DO THEY EVER!  “Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stompeez!”  Repetition.  Two words total.  It’s like the children’s footwear equivalent to “by Menin.”

As for the product: the ears fly up in the air every time your feet hit the ground.  ‘Nuf said.  It’s both simple AND awesome.  SO simple, in fact that another company couldn’t WAIT to make the same damn thing!

My purple dino feet go NOM NOM NOM!

So, which came first, Silly Slippeez or Stompeez?  Who knows.  That’s pretty much one of those chicken/egg conundrums (except in this case one could simply look up who applied for their trade mark first… I’m far too lazy for that sort of research).  So, which is better?  Well, they’re both pretty awesome… but the eyes of the Silly Slippeez will glow in the dark for literally dozens of seconds.  Two. Probably.  If you hold them up to a light bulb first.

But, if you’re still not sold on these awesome fashion accessories, check out this item offered up by Stompeez:

Holy shit… does that say…?

Yes, indeed that particular item is called Sir One-Eyed Monster.  Holy innuendo, Batman!  I would NEVER tire of saying, “Stop playing with your Sir One-Eyed Monster and get to bed!” or “Are you up there playing with your One-Eyed Monster again?!” …. and then giggle as soon as I was out of earshot of my child.  For comedy value ALONE, Stompeez wins.

The Cost of Sleep: Priceless?

So, what’s the grand total of all this bullshit?  Would you believe $80 worth of product, and another $40+ for shipping?!  Don’t forget, if you have more than one kid, you better order that stuff for each one.  And, you know kids, once they have one pillow/toy, they’ll want the set.  There’s something like 20 of those things, 6 puppetry blankees, 9 stubby-legged nightlights, and 13 animated foot warmers (between the two companies).  Long story short, you’ll probably need to take out a second mortgage to feed your children’s bedtime toy product addiction.

The moral of the story is this: I’m definitely in the wrong goddamn business.  I need to get on making my Pillow Poachers, pronto!

Corporate Bastard #1: We just patented that idea, asshole.

Corporate Bastard #2: Suck on THAT time paradox, dickwagon!

Me: Crap.  Foiled again.

P.S.: I learned about that horrible disheartening slavery footprint from here.  Thanks for the guilt, Kellie!

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9 Comments
  1. You’re welcome! Would you like some self loathing with that?

  2. That is an impressive array of bedtime paraphernalia! I think that for the Pillow Pets, I would have gotten a cheap throw pillow and then sewn on some velcro and the decapitated head off of a stuffed animal from the thrift store. You could even make it a craft project with the kids! “Now make sure you cut the bear’s head cleanly at the neck and keep the stuffing inside…” If they complain of the cruelty, then they have a pillow and a cuddly stuffed bear instead of a pillow pet!

    This may also be an excellent reason why I should never reproduce.

    • Do I sense a Pinterest project in there somewhere? My kids, I’m afraid, would be more interested in what to do with the decapitated stuffed animal body.

      “Lets sew it closed with red yarn hanging out, so it looks like blood and stuff!”
      “Yeah! I’ll take my decapitated bear to school for show and tell! It’ll be awesome!”

  3. When my kids wanted a pillow pet, I bought them a fuzzy pillowcase and duct taped a stuffed animal head to it… Because I’m a good mom. :o)

    Those slippers creep the fuck out of me. It’s like their watching me. I bet their just planning to kill everyone. Like those masks in Halloween III.

    SILVER SHAMROCK CAN SUCK IT!!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    • Best. Mom. Ever!

      It’s never too early for children to learn the value of duck tape.

      I don’t think my brain would have made the mental leap from Silly Slipeez to murderous masks from Halloween III without your input. I’m not sure what that says about you… too many horror festivals, maybe? I’m not sure what that says about me, either… I’m not as vigilant as I should be, I guess?

      I think the appropriate level of paranoia lies somewhere between the two of us (meaning, I suppose, that it’s somewhere around Missouri)

  4. Pillow Poachers. Brilliant! Totally following now.

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